By Julia Averbuck, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Starting last week (September 3rd) workers have moved into the first construction site located in Leblon in the 23rd Military Police Battalion in Praça Sibélius (Sibelius Square). This construction site is the first of eight that will be spread across Leblon, Ipanema and Lagoa.
The new Leblon location will host offices and housing for the workers of the Metro’s Line 4 construction project which will connect the General Osório Station in Ipanema to Jardim Ocêanico in Barra da Tijuca.
There will be a total of seven stations starting with Praça General Osório (General Osório Square) and adding the following six stations: Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz (Nossa Senhora da Paz Square), Jardim de Alah, Praça Antero de Quental (Antero de Quental Square), Gávea, São Conrado and Jardim Ocêanico.
Construction in Barra started as early as 2010, but due to a delay in the environmental permits, which were released in April of this year, construction had not started in the Zona Sul (South Zone) yet.
The station at Nossa Senhora da Paz has been the most controversial one so far, with Ipanema resident claiming there is no need for a station only four blocks away from the Jardim de Alah station. Despite protests, the station was approved two months ago.
The project for the extension of the Metro through Line 4 and other additional stations is part of a larger effort on the city’s behalf to improve transportation in time for the 2016 Olympics. The connection to Barra is especially important because more than half of the sites for Olympic competitions will be located there.
Other transportation efforts targeting Barra include the BRT (Bus Rapir Transit) systems, which in June inaugurated the first of four new lanes, the Transoeste. The efforts to improve transportation in Rio have also been supported by the Project for Accelerated Growth’s (PAC) Urban Mobility budget, which in March of this year approved R$1.63 billion in funding for the BRT Transbrasil and the Light Rail System in Centro.
The Line 4 has its own website, where residents of Rio can track the new developments regarding the construction project. Additionally, the Mayor’s office has detailed the work that will be carried out in each of the stations here.
Construction on Line 4 is expected to be concluded by December of 2015. Underground mapping of the region started in July at the intersection of Avenida Borges de Medeiros and Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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